Snapchat makes people happy; Facebook makes them sad

For years we’ve known that browsing friends’ highlight reels on Facebook makes people sad. The interesting corollary, however, is that Snapchat—by emulating in-person interactions—makes people happier, at least relatively speaking. My takeaways from a new University of Michigan study:

  • Ephemeral = intimate, chill, satisfying.
  • This produces more happiness than curated worlds (highlight reels) like Facebook & Instagram.
  • It’s second only to face-to-face interactions (which feel similar—spontaneous, mundane).
  • You pay more attention to what’s fleeting because you can’t see it again.
  • Snapchat’s “less supportive” (and thus more genuine?) than other media (“OMG ur so hot!!”).

No wonder this thing fulfills our primate needs, getting them sending dozens or even hundreds of images per day. “That app is my life.”

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